Five episodes in, how does the second season of Dark Matter rate against the first? Reviews on first season were mixed. The story is dark and the characters are not heroes. They do make questionable choices at time, but I find the writers handle those dilemmas well and the second season is even better than the first one.
The story begins with the crew dealing with the consequences of the previous season, almost immediately from the point we left them. The crew is split apart and they have to figure out the answer to where they are and what they need to do to get out of their various situations.
Two, Three and Four are in prison, figuring out their options. Five is being detained on the prison station while Six works to keep her from being charged. One gets bailed out by his company but has to address issues from his previous identity. The android is probed to determine illegal actions the crew enacted and Six also has to deal with the fallout of betraying his friends. He has his reasons but are they good enough for him to live with? None of them are going to find solving their problems easy, especially separated.
The next episode finds most of the crew working on their escape and finding a way back to their ship. Along the way, they pick up some help but the question becomes whether they can trust the people they have brought with them or each other. In the next three episodes, they must deal with the dilemma of trust, make sense of the betrayal by Six and try to stay alive. I don’t want to give too many spoilers but I love how the writers use action and drive the momentum forward while resolving the dynamics between the characters. They deftly managed balancing the mysteries of the previous season and the current situation. They have also not forgotten little details from the previous season. I like knowing that they haven’t forgotten all the dangling threads.
And if you haven’t watched the show before, there is enough information threaded into the action to answer the question of who these people are while continuing explore the main premise of the show: how our memories define us and can we be a different person based on our actions? Can people change or do they ultimately stay the same no matter what?
There are a few predictable points. Viewers will be able to predict some points pretty quickly if they are paying attention to the plot but this doesn’t take away from the show for me. Solving those mysteries keeps me hooked into the show. And while characters losing their memory is not original, it is interesting to explore how the characters work around the issue, how they solve the intrigues and mysteries with nothing but their skills. In second season, it builds on what they have learned about their identities and some of the people out to kill them but they still don’t have all the answers. As I mentioned before, the question of trust continues to play a part which can be repetitive but the writers have given the original characters realistic reactions to the new characters and made me curious about the additions.
There have been some changes I’m not sure about but again, without giving spoilers, that works with this show, since nothing is ever quite what it seems and answers could very well be coming in later in the season and I’m willing to bet they do. Not one mystery from last season was forgotten even it was not resolved and I feel confident that eventually everything will be answered.
And one of the best parts of this show is how much the characters grow and develop. They aren’t just untrusting criminals, or amnesiacs. They’ve grown to care about each other, their crew and when they trust each other, it hurts when one of them betrays the group. And trust isn’t instantaneous. It is built layer by layer. As new members are introduced, they aren’t offered trust immediately. But there are nuances to each crew member, even the android who comes alive in second season.
They are a wonderfully diverse group and that’s what makes this work for me. I love the diversity of the casting, the mystery, intrigue and action. I can’t wait to find out the answers to my many questions throughout the rest of the season. Yes, the characters are morally challenged and struggle to find their way, to make better choices but this, for me, is what gives the show depth. If you like a dark story line with diverse casting, check this show out.
If you haven’t seen Season 1, you can catch it on Netflix. You can watch Dark Matter Friday nights at 10pm on Syfy Channel, right after Killjoys.
Rating: 4.0 stars